Meryl Silverburgh

Meryl Silverburgh is symbolic for innocence of war. Meryl is a rookie soldier brought to Shadow Moses Island as swift replacement for some soldiers who disappeared. She is used throughout Metal Gear Solid to continue the war, but she still wishes to help out and put an end to the terrorist acts going on in the game. Meryl had been relocated to Shadow Moses Island for the full purpose of making sure Solid Snake’s informant and father of Meryl, Ray Campbell, would refuse to reveal some information to Snake. When the takeover by FOXHOUND begins, Meryl is also told to help with the rebellion and lock people up, but she outright refuses, resulting in her being locked up with everyone else.

When Snake first meets up with Meryl, she holds a gun up to him and tells him that she’ll shoot. Snake, however, sees through her tough façade and knows that she is a rookie. He comments on her posture and how she holds her gun and reveals her innocence. When they are about to be attacked, Snake describes to her how to shoot her gun properly so she can survive.

Later, Meryl is possessed by Psycho Mantis and forced to attack Snake, being used again and showing how innocent people are used for war constantly. She was then used again when Sniper Wolf shot all of Meryl’s limbs to bring Snake out of hiding to be captured. Again, she was used when Revolver Ocelot told Snake that he would withstand electro-shock torture or else he would kill Meryl, simply as a game. At the end of the game, Meryl is used one more time by Liquid Snake when he straps a nuclear bomb to her as he fought Solid Snake. This symbolizes just how much innocents are used in war for bad gain.

The innocence of Meryl is used in great deal to help humanize Solid Snake. While Snake is typically a cold man who is hardened by war, Meryl is still relatively innocent and uncorrupted by war. She asks Snake personal questions about himself, which typically result in blunt and grim answers by Snake. She has a relatively upbeat demeanor compared to Snake’s bitter attitude and she makes jokes often to brighten the mood to contrast him. Her innocence does end up rubbing off on Snake a bit, and he is able to open up to Meryl a little more throughout the game.